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Railways operating ratio in 2017-18 worst in 10 years: CAG

The operating ratio shows how efficiently the railway is operating and how healthy its finances are.

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Indian Railways

New Delhi, Dec 2 : The Indian Railways’ operating ratio at 98.44 per cent in 2017-18 was the worst in the last 10 years, the national auditor, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), said in a report tabled in Parliament on Monday.

A measure of expenditure against revenue, the operating ratio shows how efficiently the railway is operating and how healthy its finances are. An operating of 98.44 per cent means that the Railways spent Rs 98.44 to earn Rs 100.

The CAG said that the Railways would have ended up with a negative balance of Rs 5,676.29 crore instead of surplus of Rs 1,665.61 crore but for the advance received from NTPC and IRCON.

“Exclusion of this advance would otherwise have increased the operating ratio to 102.66 per cent,” the auditor said.

Indian Railways was unable to meet its operational cost of passenger services and other coaching services. Almost 95 per cent of the profit from freight traffic was utilized to compensate for the loss on operation of passenger and other coaching services.

Review of the impact of concessions allowed to passengers revealed that 89.7 per cent of the revenue foregone towards concessions was on account of concession to senior citizens and Privilege Pass/Privilege Ticket Orders (PTO) holders.

The CAG in its report said that the response to the ‘Give Up’ scheme from the senior citizen passengers was not encouraging.

“Several instances of misuse of passes and irregular grant of concessions on medical certificates were noticed. Passenger Reservation System lacks adequate validation controls to validate age of freedom fighters and to prevent irregular multiple booking on the same privilege pass,” the CAG said.

The audit analysis of the finance accounts of Indian Railways revealed a declining trend of revenue surplus and the share of internal resources in capital expenditure. The net revenue surplus decreased by 66.10 per cent from Rs 4,913.00 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 1,665.61 crore in 2017-18.

The share of internal resources in total capital expenditure also decreased to 3.01 per cent in 2017-18.

“This had resulted in greater dependence on Gross Budgetary Support and Extra Budgetary Resources,” the CAG said.

India

Congress steps up attack on Yogi Adityanath govt

Punia alleged that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to a TV channel that migrant workers were responsible for spreading the corona infection.

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PL Punia Congress

Lucknow, May 26 : The Congress has stepped up its attack on the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, accusing it of putting out fake statistics regarding coronavirus cases and also spreading communal hatred.

Senior Congress leader P L Punia, while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, said that UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu had been sent to jail only because he was helping the migrant workers.

“No one is being allowed to meet the UPCC president and the Congress will not tolerate this injustice,” he said.

Punia alleged that UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said in an interview to a TV channel that migrant workers were responsible for spreading the corona infection.

Meanwhile, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Aradhana Mishra said that the Yogi government had claimed that 25 lakh migrant workers had returned to UP.

“The government has said that the number of infected persons is 6228 so how can they claim that the 25 lakh migrant workers have brought the infection to UP? The chief minister should explain the basis of his claim,” she said.

Mishra demanded that the state government should come clean on the number of patients, testing figures and preparations made for corona.

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Disaster

Judiciary, govt failed migrant workers: Congress

The court took the cognizance after several petitions were filed, highlighting the plight of migrant workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

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Worker in India

New Delhi, May 26 : The judiciary and the government had failed labourers, said the Congress, here on Tuesday, after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of miseries of migrant workers, stranded across the country due to the lockdown announced to contain Covid-19 spread.

Terming it one of the worst case of reverse migration, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said the rights that couldn’t be enforced on time were meaningless.

“With due respect, the Supreme Court taking cognizance of labourers’ issue after more than 60 days of harsh living and over 80 deaths, is a case of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’,” he said.

The Supreme Court said the media reports had continuously been showing the unfortunate and miserable condition of migrant labourers, walking on foot and cycling long distances.

Issuing notice to the Centre and all states/Union Territories, an apex court Bench, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah, asked them to submit their responses looking into the urgency of the matter.

Stating that the petition will be taken up on Thursday, the Bench asked the Solicitor General to assist the court and bring to its notice all measures taken and to be taken by the Centre by the next date of hearing.

The Bench posted the hearing for May 28 and asked the Registry to serve a copy to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta as well states and UTs.

“Although the central and the state governments have taken measures, yet there have been inadequacies and certain lapses. We are of the view that effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation,” the Bench said.

The court took the cognizance after several petitions were filed, highlighting the plight of migrant workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Stressing the need for a helping hand to the migrant labourers, the apex court said, “They (migrants) have also been complaining of not being provided food and water by the administration at places where they were stranded or in the way i.e. highways from which they proceeded on foot, cycles or other modes of transport.”

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Arrest of UP Cong chief undemocratic: Priyanka Gandhi

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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Priyanka Gandhi Election

New Delhi, May 26 : Amid the political slugfest over migrant workers and arrest of UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, here on Tuesday, termed his arrest undemocratic and violation of humanitarian principle, and demanded that he be released immediately.

“Throwing him into prison on baseless charges during a pandemic reveals the undemocratic and opportunistic mindset of the Yogi government and violates all humanitarian principles,” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.

“We demand justice for him and will continue to fight until it’s delivered,” she said and also tweeted a video clip showing Lallu providing help to migrants.

“Having lived a life of struggle, perseverance and grit, the UP Congress chief knows well the suffering of displaced and marginalised people. He has fought for them steadfastly throughout his career,” tweeted Priyanka.

Lallu was arrested soon after he was granted bail in another case in Agra on Wednesday. Earlier, he had been arrested in Agra on Tuesday for protesting against the government’s refusal to allow movement of buses in the state.

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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